Cleveland Browns lose despondent fan amidst winless season

Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns fans during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns fans during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Since 1999, FanSided’s Andrew Hammond has had a blind loyalty to the Cleveland Browns. After years of frustration, he’s had enough with the franchise.

After a while, I’ve gotta be happy on Sundays again. Enough is enough.

During the NFL season, the 31 teams provide their fans with thrills and excitement over the course of 17 weeks across the span of an NFL season. However, there’s one team that provides none of that. All they provide is futility and laughter for social media sites, late night TV jokes and in everyday conversations between sports fans.

That team is the Cleveland Browns, the team I root for.

Now you may be wondering, why in thee warmest of all hells am I rooting for the Browns? Well, it all started when the team returned to the NFL back in 1999. I was about 10 years old at the time and loved the NFL. I really didn’t have a team but then I found out the Browns were coming back to the NFL and it was a pretty big deal so I was like, sure I’ll make them my team. Things can’t be that bad right?

I had known about “The Drive” and “The Fumble.” Still I wasn’t wavered in my willingness to support the Browns. I knew things would be bad, but I wasn’t worried and knew things would change. Well, after one playoff appearance and tons of quarterbacks later I’ve reached the end of my rope with this team. After all the games, purchased jerseys (seven in all) I’m no longer willing to support this sad sack of losers.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. Andrew, you’re a grown-ass man, this what you get for supporting a terrible team so you’ve gotta stick with it for life. Yeah, that’s not happening. Earlier this season, I said that I’d leave the Browns if they went winless in 2016 and with just a few weeks left in the season I am calling an audible. I’m bailing and here are some reasons why?

Constant rebuilding modes 

I get that the average championship window for the modern NFL franchise is about 3-5 seasons. During my time as a Browns fan, there hasn’t been a window to occur in First Energy Stadium, also known as “The Factory of Sadness.” From the Chris Palmer-Carmen Policy era to the Hue Jackson-Sashi Brown era we are currently in, the Browns have struggled to build.

If you were to compare the franchise since ’99 to a toy, it would be a second-hand half empty box of Jenga blocks. No matter what happens with this franchise, they stay struggling and lacking the foundation to build properly. With top-five pick after top-five pick and nothing to come from it, I’m not sure how much longer people can wait.

Biggest joke in sports 

Just go to Google or even Twitter, type in “Cleveland Browns” and you’ll see all the jokes and memes about this franchise. Don’t believe me? Take the average NFL Sunday or any time the Browns are in the news. Whether the Browns do something right or wrong, which is a lot, it tends to go viral. Take the latest news of Cleveland going to London for NFL’s international series of games for 2017.

Here’s the first tweet….

Here’s one of the many responses to it…..

Think that’s bad, then try watching them on an NFL Sunday…

See my point?

No hope in sight

In rooting for the Browns, it’s like rooting for Charlie Brown to finally kick the football but instead of Lucy pulling the ball up, Lucy punches Charlie in the face as he runs up to kick the ball. That is the Cleveland team I’ve had to root for since 1999 and I say my goodbye at the end of the 2016 season.

There’s no hope in sight and no reason to be optimistic. Offensive tackle Joe Thomas has had his prime years wasted in Cleveland and will be the only good thing about the franchise. It’s very possible that Joe Thomas will be in Canton as a Hall of Famer but will not see one playoff game in his career. Not as long as the franchise stays on this current track.

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Where do my allegiances go now? 

So, with the Browns out of the way at the end of the season. Who could I root for now? Could I hop on a bandwagon? Sure but it wouldn’t feel right? Do I go to a team like the Jets, Rams or Bills? No because I’d be in the same situation I am now with the Browns.

I put this up to you, the reader. Guide me as I try and find a new team to root for at the start of the 2017 NFL season. All of the 31 other teams in the NFL have something to offer and I just thank God they aren’t the Cleveland Browns.

What team should I go with in 2017? Comment, like and share your thoughts on FanSided, Twitter and Facebook.